Icebreaker Sibiryakov

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Icebreaker Sibiryakov sailing among ice floes
Name: Alexander Sibiryakov
Owner: Glavsevmorput, Soviet Union
Port of registry: Archangelsk
Ordered: 1908
Builder: D & W Henderson Ltd, Glasgow
Yard number: No 464
Laid down: 23 November 1908
Launched: 1909 as Bellaventure
Completed: 1909
Acquired: 1916
Fate: sunk by German cruiser Admiral Scheer 24 August 1942
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1383 tons
Length: 76.5 m
Beam: 10.8 m
Draught: 6 m
Ice class: icebreaker
Installed power: 2360 hp
Propulsion: 1 shaft steam engine, 2 boilers
Speed: 13 knots
Crew: 104
Notes: armed with a single 4 inch gun in 1942

The icebreaker Sibiryakov (Russian Александр Сибиряков ) was a Soviet ship which was active in the Russian Arctic during the 1930s. She was built in 1909 in Glasgow and was originally the Newfoundland sealing steamer Bellaventure. After being purchased by Russia in 1916, she was renamed the Sibiryakov. Her Russian name was chosen in honour of Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Sibiryakov, an Imperial Russian gold mine proprietor. Sibiryakov financed explorations to Siberia, such as Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld's, and also took part in some expeditions of his own.

Sibiryakov made the first successful crossing of the Northern Sea Route in a single navigation without wintering. This historic voyage, which had been Mikhail Lomonosov's dream, was organized by the All-Union Arctic Institute (presently known as the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute).

Sibiryakov sailed on June 28, 1932 from the Krasny (previously Sobornoy) docks in Arkhangelsk, crossed the Kara Sea and chose a northern, unexplored way around Severnaya Zemlya to the Laptev Sea. In September, after calling at Tiksi and the mouth of the Kolyma, the propeller shaft broke and the icebreaker drifted for 11 days. However, the Sibiryakov crossed the Chukchi Sea using improvised sails and arrived in the Bering Strait in October. Sibiryakov reached the Japanese port of Yokohama after 65 days, having covered more than 2,500 mi (4,000 km) in the Arctic seas. This was regarded as a heroic feat of Soviet polar seamen and Chief of Expedition Otto Schmidt and Captain Vladimir Voronin were received with many honors at their return to Russia.

Sibiryakov continued in service until World War II under the command of Captain A. Kacharava. On August 25, 1942 she was sunk after an unequal fight with Kriegsmarine heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer off the northwestern shores of Russky Island in the Nordenskiöld Archipelago during Operation Wunderland. Sibiryakov was armed only with several 76-mm and 45-mm guns and was no match for the pocket battleship with 280-mm main guns. However radio transmission from Sibiryakov before and during 1-hour battle alerted east and west bound Russian convoys, allowing them to avoid the area. Most members of Sibiryakov crew and civilians died in battle or went down with the ship, 22, including severely wounded Captain Kacharava, were captured by the Germans, only one sailor, P.Vavilov, managed to reach Beluha island and was picked up by Russian ship one month later. In total only 15 crew members survived the war.


fr:Sibiriakov (brise-glace) ja:シビリャコフ (砕氷船) ru:Александр Сибиряков (корабль)